Real Goods Solar IPO Offers Exposure to Residential Market

May. 6.08 | About: Andalay Solar, (WEST)

Real Goods Solar, Inc. (RSOL) is a residential and commercial solar energy integrator. It begins trading publicly this Thursday.

All quotations are from the company's most recent S-1 filing with links provided.

Business Overview (from prospectus)

We are a leading residential solar energy integrator. We offer turnkey services to our solar energy system customers, including design, procurement, permitting, build-out, grid connection, financing referrals and warranty and customer satisfaction activities. Our solar energy systems use high-quality solar PV modules from manufacturers such as Sharp, SunPower and Kyocera Solar. We use proven technologies and techniques to help customers achieve meaningful savings by reducing their utility costs. In addition, we help customers lower their emissions output and reliance upon fossil fuel energy sources.

Offering: 5 million shares at $10-$12 per share. Net proceeds of approx. $49.1 million to be to repay amounts owed, working capital, and general corporate purposes.

IPO Underwriters: ThinkPanmure, LLC; Canaccord Adams; Broadpoint.

Financial Highlights:

For the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2007, net revenue was $18.9 million vs. $16.8 million for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2006. On a pro forma basis (giving effect to the acquisitions of Marin Solar and Carlson Solar as if such transactions had occurred on January 1, 2007), for the fiscal year ended Dec 31, 2007, net revenue was $32.7 million, gross margin was 30%, and generated $1.0 million of income from operations. Immediately after the completion of this offering, after application of the net proceeds of this offering, co. will have $29.8 million of cash and no outstanding debt.

Top Competitors:

The solar energy industry is in its early stages of development and is highly fragmented, consisting of many small, privately held companies with limited resources and operating histories but some of which benefit from operating efficiencies or low overhead requirements. A number of competitors exist in the California market, including companies such as REC Solar, Akeena Solar (AKNS) and Solar City. Several of our competitors have expanded their market share in the California market by opening multiple offices within the state. According to data published by the California Energy Commission, as of the end of 2007, we were one of the top two solar energy system installers in California both in terms of total sales (installed system price) and cumulative watts (installed system size). Based upon other information, we estimate that we are currently in the top three solar energy system installers in California. In Colorado our competitors include Namaste Solar Electric and REC Solar, but there is no published data regarding competitive positions in Colorado. We compete on factors such as brand recognition, quality of services and products, pricing, speed and quality of installation.